The US government and Apple will face off in court in a closely-watched case that could have wide-reaching implications on digital security and privacy.
The crucial hearing tomorrow before a federal judge in Southern California focuses on the battle between the tech giant and federal investigators who want help from Apple to unlock an iPhone linked to one of the shooters in the December terror attack in San Bernardino, California.
“It’s a fight over the future of high-tech surveillance, the trust infrastructure undergirding the global software ecosystem, and how far technology companies and software developers can be conscripted as unwilling suppliers of hacking tools for governments,” wrote Julian Sanchez, a surveillance law expert at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington.
- Samajwadi Party Crisis Deepens: Here’s How It Will Impact UP Polls
- 24 Maoists Killed In Encounter In Odisha
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
“It’s also the public face of a conflict that will undoubtedly be continued in secret, and is likely already well underway.”
Apple, backed by a broad coalition of technology giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, argues that the FBI is seeking a “back door” into all iPhones as part of the probe into the December 2 massacre that left 14 people dead.
It also contends that the government is overstepping legal bounds by using a statute called the All Writs Act, which dates back to 1789, in order to force Apple to hack into the iPhone in question.
The company says that in deciding the case, the court must take into account the “broader context” which touches on the larger debate over data privacy.
The government has fired back, saying that Apple was not above the law and that its request for technical assistance concerns a single case — the Apple iPhone 5C, which was shooter Syed Farook’s work phone from the San Bernardino health department.
- Strong encryption a major challenge for enforcement agencies: Govt
- Apple encryption row: FBI cracks San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, withdraws court case
- US prosecutors, Apple to bring witnesses to hearing on locked iPhone
- Apple: US founding fathers would be 'appalled' by DOJ iPhone request
- Apple's Craig Federighi slams FBI; says it wants to turn back time on device security
- New York judge backs Apple in encryption debate, says can't force iPhone unlocking
Both Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik died in a firefight with police after the attack. Two other phones linked to the couple were found destroyed.
“It is a narrow, targeted order… The government and the community need to know what is on the terrorist’s phone, and the government needs Apple’s assistance to find out,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in their brief to the court.
Each side in the case has dug in its heels, exchanging a volley of legal briefs, with the outcome being watched closely across the globe.
Tech companies, security experts and civil rights advocates say the issue is not so much about one iPhone as it is about setting a precedent that would open the door to companies being forced to hand over customer data.
“This is very much not a case about this particular phone,” Sanchez told AFP.
Follow: Apple ‘Loop You In’ Liveblog